Jennifer Trynin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jennifer Trynin 

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From the slurry chords that introduce "Happier," the flat-voiced portrait of urban dissonance that leads off her Cockamamie album, to the remarkably catchy choruses dotting most of the songs to the unhappy lullaby that ends the record (besides the now obligatory hidden track) Jennifer Trynin impresses. Her voice is supple, she writes hooks, and she seems dedicated to saying something passably interesting in her songs. She has a punky setup (guitar, bass, and drums), but her production is so clean and her voice is mixed so high that punk's clearly not what she's about; at the same time she's too idiosyncratic to be straight pop, and she's too smart to play hard rock. I guess this must be what they call alternative rock. A lot of stuff doesn't work: that hidden track's supposed to be edgy but isn't, and here and there the music or the words fall flat, too often on the second half of the record. But you keep playing the thing just to hear certain moments: the lilt in the verses of "1 Year Down," the punky chorus of "Yours." Trynin's Chicago debut is two early-evening boutique shows in the intimate confines of Schubas. Friday and Saturday, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 525-2508.

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